How to Create a Culture of Recognition



Employee recognition is a critical tool for retention and attracting new employees. The most effective organizations understand the impact of these programs and build an incentivization structure that creates a culture of recognition.

A culture of appreciation highlights employee success and utilizes rewards as a core part of a group’s values and daily operations. To establish this sort of experience, start with these tips:

Foster Peer-to-Peer Recognition

One of the best ways to make recognition a part of your overall company culture is a grassroots effort - which starts with peer-to-peer recognition. A peer recognition program helps reinforce positive experiences, without relying on management to set expectations. Instead, it places the control in the hands of co-workers - and therefore makes it more meaningful and authentic to your employees. 

➨ Related Content: Surefire Strategies to Keep Employees Engaged

Starting a program can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The simplest way to begin is through a specific channel employees can use to recognize others - this could be a Slack channel, dedicated time in a stand-up meeting or an internal form. When starting this program, you’ll need to prompt employees and provide direction - but you’ll find over time this grows organically and becomes a core part of your company’s culture. 

Tie Recognition Into DEI 

Whether your organization has a formal or informal diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program, making recognition a documented aspect of your DEI program is a fantastic way to support both efforts. DEI is the acknowledgment and confrontation of biases, inequality, and inequity - and often, recognition programs face these same challenges.

➨ Related Content: Why Employee Recognition Should Be Part of Your DEI Program

By addressing these biases, you can help strengthen your overall organization and elevate your program into a cultural pillar at your organization. 

Make It Meaningful

Merchandise rewards are only useful if they’re actually meaningful to the people receiving them. Your rewards should be customized to your employees and to your organization. Doing so ensures that it's desirable for all to enact these positive outcomes. 

One easy way to make recognition rewards meaningful is to allow your employees to choose what they want. You can provide them a guideline of items and benefits to choose from - or even set up your company store with a selection of options. 

➨ Related Content: Why You Should Let Employees Pick Their Recognition Gifts

Allowing your employees to pick their accolades provides added incentive and also offers an extra point of engagement. 

All of the efforts above help integrate these programs into your wider organizational structure. By creating a culture of recognition, you also create avenues toward increasing employee retention and satisfaction - which leads to better results for the organization and those within it.

Employee Recognition with QRG

Our meaningful recognition solutions can help strengthen connections between employees and employers which creates a strong sense of community, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. Check out QRG’s recognition and retention solutions and contact an account executive for help starting a program at your company.


QRG is a customer-driven, single-source commercial printer, branded merchandise agency, and direct marketing firm tailored to meet your business goals. Our corporate identity solutions create deep connections with a lasting impact on your audience. Learn more about how it works and check out our website for more information.

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